All full-time employees of the city of Boonville are getting a $1,000 raise.
Every member of the Boonville City Council voted in favor of the pay increase at the Council's regularly scheduled meeting last Thursday, Sept. 6. The increase affects around 50 full-time city employees, some of whom include the clerk-treasurer, police chief, fire territory chief and parks director.
Boonville City Mayor Charlie Wyatt said the main goal of the raise is to help the city keep its best employees.
"I think we're very fortunate to have the people that we have," he said. "Our police, our fire, our city hall employees, our code enforcement ... Because it's not a fun thing to retrain everybody. But I don't begrudge anyone wanting to move on to better themselves. But it's hurtful to the city if they do move on, and I hate it."
Wyatt said the increase is due to their previous salaries not being competitive enough. "We want to make sure that we pay them at a rate that's attractive," he said, "that would make them want to stay here in the city of Boonville."
Wyatt noted a few people have quit over the past few years to take better paying jobs.
"We've lost people because we don't pay as well as some of the other cities or the county," he said.
The city is able to pay for the raise due to some savings in its this year, Wyatt explained.
"We changed our insurance this past year to make it a lot more attractive for our families," he said. "It's very good insurance and the premiums are a lot more affordable and there's a lot more benefits for them. It saved us about $140 a year."
The rate increase of about $50 per pay period will not take place until Jan. 1, 2019.